August 8, 2007

Book Review - It's Okay to be the Boss

Management is a popular topic today. Large organizations and famous CEOs as well as academics each seem to have a prescription for becoming the perfect manager. But how does this relate to the day to day activities around the office?

Its Okay to be the Boss
Bruce Tulgan
HD 38.2 .T85 2007

Bruce Tulgan begins his book with the assertion that many employees do not have sufficient management or guidance in the workplace. Most of the chapters that follow are broad guidelines and steps to be taken to provide more structure in the workplace. In one chapter, "Tell People What to Do and How to Do It," he states that it is not enough to get someone started on a project with one task, even if you lay out the thinking behind the entire project. It is necessary to also be specific about what you want delivered to you as a product and discuss a timeline for the project, or different phases of it, to be completed.

What differentiates Tulgan's book from others is the clear, simple, practical, and almost common sense advice that he gives for managers. It is easy to nod along with Tulgan's suggestions and reasoning. While there are vignettes and anecdotes scattered throughout the book, Tulgan is not particularly explicit about how managers are to put his suggestions to work. For some managers, these activity goals will be enough to change the way that they interact with their employees, but for others, this book will just explain the principles of good management without complicated jargon.